How to add the UK English Spell Check Option in Windows Live Mail

Windows Live Mail includes the English (UK) spell check dictionary built-in, but the option is not exposed for some unknown reason. To enable the English (United Kingdom) spell check dictionary, using one of the methods below. Method 1 tells you how to manually add the UK English Spell check option in Windows Live Mail, and Method 2 uses a VBScript that I wrote to automate the task.

Credits to Bob Lucas for this excellent tip.

Method 1

Copying the files

Copy the files spell.ini, mssp3en.lex, MSSpell3.DLL from the following folder:

%ProgramFiles%\Windows Live\Mail\Proof\prf0009\2\

to the following folder:

(Windows XP)

%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Proof\prf0809\1

(Windows Vista)

%localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Proof\prf0809\1

Note that the destination path does not exist by default and you need to manually create the folders up to the level above. To access the above location, simply type the path in the Address bar in Windows Explorer or in the Start Run dialog.

More Information: Where the numeric 809 in the above path represents the hex value for the English (UK) language. Its decimal equivalent is 2057. The list of Locale IDs is available at the Microsoft site.

Edit the Spell.ini file

After copying the files, you need to edit the spell.ini file (using Notepad) in the destination path and set the Lang value to 2057, which is the Locale ID decimal for English, United Kingdom. Save the file. The spell.ini file should now show the following contents:


Script to automate the above steps

Download ukspell_wlm.vbs and save to Desktop. Double-click the file to run it. The script carries out the steps listed in Method 1 quickly and you’ll see a message box when it’s complete.

English (United Kingdom) should now be added to the list of available languages in Windows Live Mail.

Set English (United Kingdom) as the default

  1. Start Windows Live Mail
  2. Use the Alt + T keyboard shortcut to access the Tools menu
  3. Click Options
  4. Select the Spelling tab
  5. Select English (United Kingdom)
  6. Click Set Default and click OK.

The UK Spell check dictionary is now set as the default!

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

2 thoughts on “How to add the UK English Spell Check Option in Windows Live Mail”

  1. I’ve found the English (UK) spell checker in Windows 7.

    On the Windows Live Mail drop down menu, select TOOLS, OPTIONS, SPELLING. In the window showing the available languages, scroll down to English (United Kingdom). Click on it to highlight it, select ‘Set Default’ and the ‘English (United Kingdom) goes bold, select ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’.

    It works fine on my machine.


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